How to Leverage Webinars to Drive Engagement in SaaS

How to Leverage Webinars to Drive Engagement in SaaS cover

A primary goal of customer success teams at SaaS companies is to drive user engagement. Whether in the context of new customer activation, upselling premium features, or reducing churn, strong user engagement is a clear indicator of customers’ ongoing commitment to your product.

Of all the tools at your disposal, webinars are particularly effective at accomplishing this goal.

In this post, we’ll explain why this is true, how webinars may be used to increase engagement, and what to keep in mind when creating an effective webinar with this objective.

Finally, we’ll address what to do when confronted with the monumental task of trying to scale live webinars as a key component of your user engagement strategy by discussing the advantages of webinar automation.


  • Webinars are very well-suited to drive user engagement. Their effectiveness stems from their video-based nature, storytelling capability, how they provide a forum for user questions, and their ability to generate real-time feedback.
  • Three kinds of webinars are obvious options for increasing engagement: product onboarding webinars, ongoing product education (and upselling), and webinars announcing large product releases.
  • Considering a webinar is meant to increase user engagement of your SaaS product keep these in mind when you get started: it’s important to set clear goals, use a webinar template (so you don’t have to start from scratch), make the experience interactive, and set aside time for questions.
  • Webinar automation is a great way to scale your webinar strategy without sacrificing a personal touch, particularly since automated webinar software has evolved significantly in recent years to make this possible.
  • The main benefits of webinar automation are that you can reach a larger audience, offer a more interactive experience, retain a personal touch at scale (with the right software), and get back your time and energy to spend on other things, like creating more comprehensive content for your users.

Note from the author:

Todd Parmely– COO eWebinar

I, the author of this guest post, am the COO of eWebinar, an automated webinar platform. While I am of course biased toward webinar automation in general and our product in particular, it is only because we struggled ourselves for years with the limitations of live webinars and are now passionate about the product we have created to overcome them.

Why webinars are an effective tool for driving engagement

When well-executed, webinars stand as one of the most powerful tools for increasing user engagement. Not only do they provide a platform to educate, update, and communicate with your users, but they also bring a human touch. This bridges the gap between a faceless brand and your audience.

Here are five key reasons why webinars are so effective at increasing engagement:

The power of video

Video has the unique ability to engender trust in users in a matter of minutes that otherwise might take days, weeks, or months.

Giving users the opportunity to meet with you “face-to-face” so you can show them around your product is invaluable in nurturing customer loyalty and a deeper understanding of your software.

Onboarding webinar example.

Telling the story of your product’s benefits

Beyond just listing or demonstrating features, webinars let you craft narratives that resonate emotionally with users, so you can connect the dots between what the product does and how it can actually make a difference in their day-to-day lives.

Remember, users care about outcomes, not features.

A webinar also lets you tell the larger story of your brand. For example, you can explain why your company is particularly qualified to solve the problems that it does.

For startups, this is often the story of why your founder was driven to start the business, or how you are differentiated from your competitors in the marketplace.

Demonstrating the quickest path to first value

Similar to how a webinar lets you tell the high-level story of your product’s benefits, it also allows you to walk attendees through each step of the ideal user journey they should take in order to experience benefits most quickly.

Once users understand the big picture of getting from A to Z, things like in-app tutorials, guides, and tips become that much more valuable because they are understood within a larger context.

Forum for User Questions

Perhaps the most powerful component of a webinar – and one of the main reasons why people choose to attend it – is its two-way communication.

Users are able to ask questions as they arise, which lets you immediately address concerns and dispel misconceptions. It also creates a human connection by introducing customers to the real people behind your product who are there to support them.

Source of product and user feedback

Because there is two-way communication in a webinar, not only do your users get to learn from you, but you can learn from them.

For example, you can find out how intuitive your user experience is, where users are getting stuck, what features they find most beneficial, and other qualitative feedback that can be extremely useful to both your product and product marketing teams.

Webinars also allow you to capture structured user data through things like polls, quizzes, and ratings. This data may be used for analysis but can also be sent to your CRM or marketing automation software for segmented post-webinar follow-up.

How to use webinars to drive customer engagement

There are three straightforward ways to use webinars to effectively increase user engagement.

Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Use onboarding webinars to shorten time to value

The period immediately after someone signs up for your product is a critical window of opportunity to get them to experience your software’s benefits quickly so that they stick around.

An onboarding webinar is a great way to cover a lot of ground with new users in a very short amount of time.

A single 30-minute high-level overview lets you teach new users the basics of navigating your product, highlight the most important features and their benefits, and provide a forum for questions that, if left unanswered, might keep users from successfully adopting your product.

By addressing common challenges that new users face and demonstrating the shortest path to value, you can reduce your churn rate.

Onboarding webinar registration page.

Use webinars for product training and upselling

Ongoing product training, such as deep dives into different feature sets, ensures users derive maximum benefit from your product. This, in turn, makes your product stickier as your active users increasingly come to rely on it.

What’s more, by showcasing premium features during product training, you can identify upsell opportunities and increase the lifetime value of loyal customers.

Use webinars to promote product releases and reduce the learning curve

Major product releases are only valuable if the new features they comprise are adopted by users.

While in-app messaging is super effective for highlighting new features and workflows, a webinar lets you tell the overarching story behind the reasons for implementing the features in the first place.

You can better explain how those features fit into the rest of the product’s ecosystem, and how you can use the new product features to draw additional benefit from existing ones.

By reducing the learning curve after a major product release and gathering feedback during these sessions, you can foster iterative development to make a better product.

How to create an effective webinar to drive user engagement

Here are four recommendations to take into account when creating a webinar designed to increase user engagement with your product.

Set clear goals

It is not enough to simply say you want your webinar to help increase user engagement.

You must clearly define your objectives and set measurable goals. For example, if you are looking to drive adoption of a new feature set, decide exactly what actions or events you will track to demonstrate a user has successfully started using the feature in question.

Be sure to benchmark these engagement metrics first so you can see what effect your efforts have on users who attended your webinar versus those who did not.

Use a template

Do not start from scratch when creating your webinar. Leverage the experience of others by finding and using a well-crafted webinar template as a starting point. There are plenty of them available online – often for free.

Webinar templates.

Keep in mind the best templates are not necessarily the prettiest-you can always make something look nicer).

Rather, a great webinar template follows a proven presentation structure for achieving a specific goal. Look for evidence that the template creator understands webinar best practices and specifically has experience with webinars designed to drive user engagement.

Make it interactive

There are three key reasons for building interactivity into your webinar script.

First, if you make the experience interactive, you will have engaged users from beginning to end. By giving people a way to participate in the webinar, they become more invested in it.

Second, your webinar will become a channel for gathering feedback about your product (or the webinar itself) so you can make improvements.

Third, it is important to gather the structured data you need to properly segment your audience when following up with them after the webinar.

For example, you might ask how confident they feel about getting started with your product. You can then follow up differently with those who feel less confident versus those who are ready to go.

However, if you decide to make your webinar interactive, be mindful of it.

Don’t just do it for its own sake.

Be purposeful about how you use interactivity so that you can keep your webinar audience engaged and gain valuable insights from them that you can use elsewhere.

Encourage questions

Remember, one of the main reasons people sign up for a webinar is so they can ask questions. Make sure you specifically set aside time for this.

Rather than having one long Q&A at the end, it is better to build in regular breaks for questions throughout.

Another great way to answer questions is via chat, especially private chat, where people feel more comfortable asking questions.

Example of chat during a webinar.

If you find some of the same questions are being asked over and over again, use it as an opportunity to improve your webinar script by baking the answers to those questions into your presentation.

When you make it a regular practice to incorporate what you learn as you go, your webinar will become more and more effective over time.

Benefits of using automation to scale your webinars and drive engagement

As effective as webinars are at driving product and app engagement, they are also hard to sustain as an ongoing customer engagement strategy because of the amount of time and resources they eat up.

In addition, team members can easily become demoralized by having to give the same presentation over and over again – especially when 20 people sign up but only 2 show up.

Too often, technical difficulties ruin the experience too.

And, perhaps most importantly, no matter how many webinars you offer, you can never accommodate everyone’s schedule, particularly if you run a company with a large number of users in multiple time zones.

This is where webinar automation comes in.

If you are wondering how a pre-recorded webinar could possibly come close to the effectiveness of a live webinar, it is important to note that automated webinar software has come a long way in the last few years.

In fact, when it comes to the kinds of webinars meant to be given repeatedly – like product demos, user onboarding, and training webinars – automated webinars can easily outperform their live counterparts by virtually any metric you choose, including attendance rates, engagement rates, watch times, and conversion rates. (Conversion in this context might mean feature adoption).

Modern pre-recorded webinar software, like eWebinar, has the following benefits:

Reach a wider audience

Live webinars revolve around the schedule of the host, while automated webinars can be made available at the convenience of the attendee.

By offering your webinars on demand or on a convenient, recurring basis (or both), you can dramatically improve your attendance rates and reach a much larger audience, especially those who live in time zones very different from your own.

Offer a more interactive experience

Since automated webinars are evergreen, it makes sense to invest a little extra time to meaningfully craft an interactive experience.

Automated webinar software lets you plan and pre-program interactions to appear at key moments throughout your presentation, making the webinar much more interactive than a typical live webinar.

The result: higher engagement, longer watch times, and a great way to gather actionable data.

Examples of interactions included polls, questions, quizzes, tips, downloads, contact forms, special offers, testimonials, and more.

Interactions during webinars.

Retain a personal touch

While offering a personalized customer experience using a pre-recorded video might seem far-fetched, it is possible provided you use the right software.

Many platforms let you set up superficial personalizations (e.g. “Hi, {First_Name>}!”), but the key to real personalization at scale is direct, private communication using a chat system that gives you the flexibility to respond live in the moment or asynchronously at your convenience.

To demonstrate, here is how eWebinars chat system works as an example:

When a new chat message comes in, you get notified so you or someone from your team can jump in and answer user questions in real-time. Live chat, when possible, is a golden opportunity to make a great first impression and demonstrate exemplary customer service.

Since it is not realistic to respond to chat 24/7, when necessary, an auto-response will let attendees know their message was received but that you will have to get back to them later. That way, they are not left hanging.

When you do get a chance to respond, your reply is automatically sent to the attendee via email. Thus, attendees always get answers to their questions in a timely way, and from your point of view, no inquiries ever fall through the cracks.

Repurpose your time and energy

The most obvious benefit of automating your webinars is the amount of time and energy it will save you.

What may be less obvious is how getting that extra time back frees you up to take on projects you were never able to get to previously.

For many companies, this means finally being able to go beyond just covering the “basics” of their product. The time they gain is used to create a library of webinars, all automated, meant for different steps along a customer’s journey as a way to help users go deeper into the benefits of their product.

This, in turn, boosts team morale since people get to focus on more gratifying tasks, like creating new content, rather than repeatedly presenting the same webinar.


Webinars, whether live or automated, can be an invaluable tool in bolstering user engagement.

By combining a human touch with strategic content delivery, businesses can foster strong customer relationships, ensuring not just customer retention but also organic growth.

As you embark on your webinar journey, remember: It’s not just about information, but connection.

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